Owning a dog can be a lot of fun but also comes with significant responsibility. In Illinois, pet owners are responsible for any damage that their animals cause. Many high-profile cases where dogs have bit people ended with the owners held responsible for their injuries. For you, this means that any injuries that you suffered because someone else’s dog bit you could entitle you to compensation for all your related expenses.
You might want to consult an Elgin dog bite lawyer about your potential dog bite case. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we handle a variety of personal injury cases, including dog bite cases. Contact us at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case for free with a team member.
Dog Bite Dangers
Dog bites can turn dangerous for a variety of reasons, including:
- Diseases: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dog bites can transfer a variety of nasty diseases to humans. One of the most dangerous is rabies, which requires a series of vaccine injections after a bite to prevent this fatal disease.
- Tissue damage: Extensive tissue damage can lead to permanent disabilities. Depending on the breed of the dog, a dog bite can do massive deep tissue damage because of the length of the teeth and the strength of the bite.
- Disfigurement: Dogs can bite many times in rapid succession, which can do damage across the body. Because of the sharpness of their teeth, they can also tear flesh, which can lead to permanent disfigurement.
- Bleeding: Dog bites create many small puncture wounds that can be deep. A single dog bite can create many openings where bleeding can happen. Multiple dog bites can lead to a significant loss of blood, and a person could bleed out by the time medical personnel arrives.
- Infections: Infections are a major concern for dog bite victims. A dog’s mouth can harbor bacteria for which humans have no immunity. The depth of the bite can also influence how likely the victim is to get an infection. The best method of care is rapid intervention with antimicrobials and antibiotics.
Being attacked by a dog can cause serious injuries that take a long time and extensive medical treatments to recover. This period will likely leave you with expensive medical bills, and you might have missed time at work, costing you income to pay those bills.
If you suffered injuries from an attack by someone else’s dog, you can file an insurance claim or a lawsuit to receive compensation from the dog’s owner, which could relieve the financial burden of medical and other costs.
Dog bites usually lead to a variety of medical expenses. Emergency medical care is expensive but might be necessary when dealing with dog bite injuries. Quick intervention can save you from a severe infection and life-threatening diseases. You might also need ongoing medical care from a physician and possibly from a physical rehabilitative specialist. Finally, you might suffer emotional trauma from the bite, requiring mental health therapy. These medical expenses can become hefty since treatment can last a long time.
You might also recover compensation for lost income when you miss time at work recuperating from your injuries, replacing clothes or other property damaged during the attack, and for the pain and suffering you experienced. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with our team and determine what damages you could include in your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a Dog Bite Lawyer serving Elgin, call (800) 794-0444
Liability in Illinois Dog Bite Cases
The legal framework surrounding dog bite cases can be complicated and could change based on where you live. If you plan on filing a dog bite case and are unclear on Illinois liability laws, an Elgin dog bite lawyer can explain them.
In Illinois, 510 ILCS 5, known as the Animal Control Act, assigns liability in dog bite cases. Section 16 places the responsibility on the owner of the dog if the animal “without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place where he or she may lawfully be.” This language means that if the dog bit you without provocation, you might have grounds to sue for the full value of any expenses related to your injuries.
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Statute of Limitations
If you have considered filing a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog that bit you, you have a limited amount of time to do so. This deadline, known as the statute of limitations, is a legal time limit on how long you have to file your case. It prevents victims from waiting too long to act against the liable party and makes it easier for both sides to collect evidence and find witnesses to support their position.
In Illinois, 735 ICLS 5/13-202 sets the statute of limitations for personal injury cases at two years, meaning you have two years from the date of the attack to file your case. Two years can pass quickly while you recover from your injuries. To ensure that you file your case on time, you might want to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so will give an attorney time to find evidence and witnesses that bolster your case for justice and compensation.
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Dog bites can lead to extensive medical problems that can take a long time to heal. The medical expenses can become substantial, while you might have lost the income you could have used to pay your bills, causing undue stress and anguish for you and your family.
Fortunately, you do not have to handle this stress by yourself. You can hold the dog owner responsible by seeking compensation through either an insurance claim against their homeowner’s policy or from a personal injury lawsuit. An Elgin dog bite lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies and opposing attorneys, and, if necessary, argue your case in court. Call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 for a free case review.